MIXED reactions have trailed the call by Mike Ozekhome, Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights lawyer, that amnesty should be granted to kidnappers. Some Nigerians argue that granting them amnesty would encourage young people to take to crime, while others believe that they deserve it in the interest of peace. Below are the views of Nigerians on the issue.
Chuka Arum, Public Servant: Crimes should not be forgiven. And any attempt to grant the kidnappers amnesty would complicate security problems. A criminal is a criminal and should be treated as such. Are we trying to say that hard work no longer pays in this country?
Fredrick Ezugu, Accountant: Our problem is that we love falsehood, hypocrisy and evil generally. When the federal government was extending amnesty to Boko Harram, what was their expectations? They should extend the amnesty to prostitutes and armed robbers, since our leaders prefer cash disbursement to development.
Chukwudi Idukpo, Engineer: It is like we are in the season of amnesty and agitation for amnesty? The federal government gave amnesty to the Niger Delta militants, who were asking for a share of the resources tapped from their backyard. They also proposed amnesty for the Boko Haram insurgents who have killed thousands of innocent Nigerians to press home their evil demand for the islamisation of secular Nigeria. And now agitation for amnesty for kidnappers; a case for same indulgence to armed robbers will come soon. After all, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Crimes and criminality are beginning to attract huge dividends, a new and better school, with two scholarships up to the university, for the stowaway boy. Who said that crime does not pay?
Nnaemeka Ogbonna, Businessman: Federal government should consider granting amnesty to kidnappers whose main grouse is joblessness before all of us will become victims. Like the Niger Delta militants, they could be sent to good universities abroad and equally placed on monthly salaries. As it is often said, no development can take place without peace. If we are to achieve the much-needed national development, we should begin the process of granting amnesty to kidnappers now.
Divine Ogochukwu, Accountant: I am totally against it. This will only take criminality to a higher level and make people to believe that crime pays. You cannot place kidnappers on the same scale with Niger Delta militants who were clamouring for judicious use of their resources.
Titus Ugwoke, Administrator: Kidnappers are modern day robbers and lazy people who are looking for any excuse to inflict pains and sufferings on innocent people so that they can get money cheaply. These people are criminals and don’t deserve amnesty.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Sep. 30, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT